Dante's Inferno Ulysses Essay

785 Words Mar 11th, 2013 4 Pages
Ulysses in Dante’s The Inferno Dante places many figures of Greek mythology, Roman antiquity, and some political enemies in Hell. For some of these people his reasoning suits their punishment, for others it doesn’t, and for some we don’t know enough about them to verify their placement. Ulysses is placed in the eighth circle of Hell and in the eighth bolgia with the evil counselors for his acts in the Trojan War. Dante’s reasoning behind his placement was unjust and Ulysses does not deserve the punishment he eternally receives. According to Dante, Ulysses was placed in Hell for the use of deception and underhanded war tactics such as the Trojan horse (Alighieri 212-213). This is in no way evil counseling as Dante was working to win a …show more content…
For more proof that Dante took some creative liberties is the fact that his account of Ulysses death is completely fictional and was made to create the idea that purgatory lay on the other end of the world (Ciardi, 212). Just because Ulysses doesn’t belong with the evil counselors doesn’t mean he doesn’t belong in Hell at all. Ulysses is a major offender of the Carnal sin and could be placed in circle two. Throughout the tale of The Odyssey Ulysses sleeps with woman such as Circe and Calypso well his faithful wife Penelope awaits him at home (Homer, Books 5,10). This makes him a sinner of flesh and places him with others such as Dido and Francesca for his constant night stays with multitudes of women. Not only can he be placed in the second circle but also the eight circle in the ninth pouch with the Sowers of discord. In Scyros, Ulysses found Achilles disguised as a female to be kept from war so he could stay with his mother, Thetis. Ulysses had him sent to war, killing his lover, Deidamia, with the grief of his leaving (Ciardi, 216). This can be considered three accounts of discord between kin. Ulysses separated two in love, a mother from her child, and a father from his child, all well killing a woman as well. This circle is much more fitting for Ulysses because it was his worst sin and he committed multiple accounts of it. In the end, Dante was not just in his placement of

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